Periodicity of fire disturbance is a known driver of ecosystem function and is reported as important in both promoting and maintaining viable breeding habitat for the endangered Cape Sable Seaside Sparrow (Ammospiza maritima mirabilis; CSSS). In south Florida, the CSSS serves as a fine‐scale indicator of the marl and mixed‐marl prairie communities of the Florida Everglades. The CSSS distribution is affected by numerous well‐documented physical drivers, including water depth and fire regime. Here, we fit zero‐inflated negative binomial generalized linear mixed models and used model selection to determine the relationship between CSSS bird count observations from 1992 to 2014 and the spatially‐specific fire return interval on the landscape. CSSS bird count was highest at a 5–8‐year fire return interval and increased linearly with the percent of cell burned (400 × 400 m cells). The results of this study can inform management plans designed to maintain existing, and promote new, marl prairie habitat for conservation of the CSSS.
|Title||Fire disturbance influences endangered Cape Sable Seaside Sparrow (Ammopiza maritima mirabilis) relative bird count|
|Authors||Allison Benscoter, James (Contractor) Beerens, Leonard G. Pearlstine, Stephanie Romanach|
|Publication Subtype||Journal Article|
|Series Title||Conservation Science and Practice|
|Record Source||USGS Publications Warehouse|
|USGS Organization||Wetland and Aquatic Research Center|